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Jennifer Rascon

In Conclusion

posted August 09, 2014

Coming to the last days of the History of Life internship, it felt as if the weeks were minutes! The last days were very busy, trying to complete our abstract and our posters. This summer has definitely made me realize the standards of working with science at a college level. Working as a paleontologist has taught me a new perspective to science; the tedious work scientist put into their experiments and the hours put into their research is outstanding. This internship has brought new knowledge and adventures, such as working with the computer program, R, to going camping and on a tough hike up in the hills in Pinnacles National Park. Most importantly, I will walk away with new friendships and great memories! All thanks to the unique interns that made the HOL internship a great experience.

Field Trips

posted July 20, 2014

My expectations in working as a paleontologist would be to have hands on fossils to observe and analyze them. But most of our data is collected from thick books in which we use a caliper to measure anteroposterior, dorsoventral, and the total left to right length. But on our first trip, we went to Berkeley and had the privilege to go to the museum and behind the scenes into the hundred of drawers and cabinets full of fossils, categorized in different genomes and geological time scale. It was an interesting experience to observe close hand on dinosaur fossils as well as a giant alligator head and elephant head.

After this adventure, we walked over to the football field to try and identify where exactly has the Hayward fault has crossed through and shifted the football field. It was something I have always heard but have never seen with my own eyes. The fault has shifted a column of seats to the right as you can see in the picture. It was a fun walk around the campus of Berkeley.

Our second trip took place in Pinnacles National Park, we went camping for one night and two days, Monday to Tuesday. On Monday, we went on a rigorous hike on a rocky road all the way to the top of a hill. After that hard workout that made all of us sweat and sore, we went on an adventure to Greenfield in search of fossils, we found many bivalves, brachiopods, and crabs. At times I felt disappointed since I could not find anything, but eventually I was able to find a bivalve and a crab fossil that I took home.

Field trips are fun to step outside of the class and get to have a hands on experience as a palaeontologist in search of something new or something to bring back as a memory of your findings.

Pinnacles National Park
Pinnacles National Park



My First Impression

posted June 30, 2014

It has been two weeks since the History of Life Internship began. My first impression other than the pizza we had on orientation day was the variety of interns and where they come from. Working as a paleontologist, I have noticed that everyone has different skills, some knew how to work with excel and R as well as some had more knowledge about evolution. But we are all learning as each day goes by, we are all analyzing Ostracods which are one of the largest groups of crustaceans, taking data analysis, and keeping record of it on an excel worksheet. I found this boring, but I have learned to enjoy it along with my good partner, Jackelyn. What has been more difficult for me was working with R, computer programing is something I have never been exposed to, it is challenging.

In the meantime, the best activity I have experienced has been learning and working with the Geographic Information System (GIS), we took a workshop in the 25th of June. It was interesting how much Google Earth has to offer! We were able to “flood” part of San Francisco by raising the sea level to about five to ten meters. We learned how to add pin points, create a pathway sketch from Pier 39 to the Golden Gate Bridge, and watch our pathway up close as a tour clip going through the flooded streets, homes, and all sorts of buildings. It was a fun workshop that made me think of maps in a different way, not just a big picture with complex lines and words all over it.

I am looking forward to the field trips and collaborating with my lab partner as well as working with new groups, getting hands on with some rocks or even fossils would be great to search for ourselves. So far, this is just the beginning and hoping for greater things to come.